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  CSPAN    Capitol Hill Hearings    News/Business.  

    May 16, 2013
    1:00 - 6:01am EDT  

, the demographic that is most economically insecure. they have not been able to get the kinds of event services that they need because of cost area whether it was a mammogram, and ovarian cancer screening or other things. now they are able to do it without a co-pay. we should march together to make sure that we implement this legislation and change health care for the nation and particularly for women. thank you. >> the 2013 congressional directory has been updated with new numbers. it is available online for $12.95 plus shipping and handling. go to , a senate hearing on
federal spending for scientific research to stop the attorney general eric holder testifies at a house judiciary committee hearing. and later, "washington journal" is live with your phone calls. >> on the next "washington journal" representative here in bass of california on the justice department seizure of ap phone records and the irs investigation and immigration reform. then a discussion on the upcoming debt ceiling debate. and the underground economy of workers. "washington journal" on c-span. >> this weekend, book tv is live from maryland at the book festival. live coverage begins saturday at 10 a.m. easter the gaithersburg book festival
live all day on saturday on c- span 2 book tv. the national institutes of health and a budget. francis, steps to five at a committee hearing. this is just under two hours. >> the senate appropriations committee will come to order.
today we are privileged to have as my longtime compatriot used to say, the crown jewel of the federal government, that is the national institute of health care for a budget hearing. dr. collins, welcome to the subcommittee. our panel of doctors. this is an important moment for nih and the future of medical research in this country. fundingear 2003, the
has dropped in real terms by 22%. hashasing power of nih fallen by more than 1/5 over the past decade. 2013,ear, fiscal year nih will drop by $1.7 billion below last year's budget. almost entirely because of sequestration. will have fewer grants. that means 700 fewer opportunities to investigate and possibly find a cure for cancer and alzheimer's and diabetes and a number of diseases. perhaps even more alarming is the researchers chance to get a grant approved by nih will drop by 60%. that is the lowest success rate in the history of nih.
that comes at a time when potential for scientific breakthrough has perhaps never een better. the national cancer institute, success rate will be 12%. the other institutes, below 10%. that is abysmal. when you have less than one in a 10 chance of getting a grant, that is when our best and brightest minds start asking, what is the point? maybe i should find a different career. it is no wonder some are saying our nation's status as the undisputed leader in medical research is under threat. the president's budget request offers a welcome response to this disturbing decline. the budget calls for $31.1 billion for nih in fiscal year 2014. it would not only reverse all of the cuts that are occurring this year, but was soon as all -- but would result in an increase.
there is a new brain initiative, which i'm sure we will hear more about. i read your testimony last night. i will do everything i can to help with the budget this year. i suspect that many senators on the other side of the aisle also agreed. more bipartisan support than any other agency in the entire appropriations bill. -- at the problem same time, some of my colleagues are requesting a stronger commitment from nih. he also want sequestration to continue in fiscal year 2014. some even went deeper cuts to nondefense discretionary spending next year to pay for more increases in defense spending. there is simply no way to square these two initiatives come of these two priorities.
that we willhance get close to the president's 2012st for nih, let alone fiscal year levels. it will not happen. we're not going to hurt education, health, labor, the center for disease control and prevention, and others that are at minimal levels. i will not get engaged including nih against other worthwhile endeavors. reasonsone of the many we need to be play sequestration. we need a mix of responsible and not just blind cuts to her thing. and also increase revenue. it bounced out is the only way nih will have the resources it needs to realize the enormous
scientific opportunity it will -- we'll will hear shortly from our witnesses. my time to my code. >> thank you. -- to my college. >> thank you. i appreciate dr. collins of the other senators for being here today. this is a habit for our subcommittee. we about some of the most exciting elements and challenges that disease provides. science and research of the foundation of innovation and growth in our economy and the .olution to a myriad of issues research is helping americans live longer and live healthier lives. as of investment and by medical with each one percent
decline, saving our nation about $500 billion. the u.s. death rate from heart disease and stroke has declined more than 60% in the last half- century. the death rate among adults with diabetes has declined 23%. health advances aside, they are .aramount as baby boomers age, the cost of healthcare will continue to increase. a study from the banner corporation stated that the cause of dementia care is projected to double over the next 30 years. it would surpass heart disease and cancer. without a weight to prevent or cure or treat dementia, it will be difficult if not impossible to rein in costs. science has confronted similar health challenges in the past
and has rebuilt. economists projected poll it would cost $100 billion a year. ,n the face of this challenge medical research produced a solution to this devastating disease and pull your is now -- polio is being eradicated worldwide. we have confronted difficult spending choices. i'm a- i beeve you must prioritize our court and -- -- i believe we must prioritize our commitment to nih. without adequate and support for medical research, trainees will be driven from medical ourds or into the arms of global competitors. last year, china's government pledged to increase basic research investment by 26% and will contribute more than $200 billion to biotechnology over
the next five years. in the last five years, engineering degrees has more than doubled compared to the united states. we risk losing a generation of scientists and stopping our nations global competitors. this is not a time to waver on america's commitment to nih and the health of all americans. mr. chairman, i look forward to working with you on these priorities. >> thank you. we welcome dr. francis collins. the 16th director of the national institute of health. his leadership of the genome project which was the director from 1993 to 2008. he went to the university of regina. yale.m -- ph.d. from
your statement will be part of the record in its entirety. good afternoon, mr. chairman and members of the subcommittee. i'm grateful to to be here with my colleagues to present the president's budget request for the national institutes of health of fiscal year 2014. this panel has a long history of supporting the nih mission to seek fundamental knowledge and apply it in ways that will enhance human health and reduce suffering. thank you for your strong commitment and supporting research over these years. nih has millions of patients that are grateful for that leadership. under here to talk about the administration's fy-14 request. -- i am here to talk about the administrations fy-14 request. it will enhance nih's ability to support cutting-edge research
and coming up with new ways to improve from and health. improve human health. even with his tremendous opportunities before us and our hopes for your support, we cannot ignore the current fiscal situation. this is a perilous moment. subcommittee's best efforts to avert it, sequestration took effect on march 27. this has delayed devastating blow to nih and the entire biomedical research and the price. ,ithout action by this congress over theill result next 10 years. this graph that i am showing you shows in blue the
appropriated levels nih and the effects of inflation in orange. including the sequester him a which this he identified with we hope they will turn back up again with the president's proposal for 2014. purchasinge research power has been lost. the consequences are stark. look back at 2003. that is a direct result of this committee. , with all theater scientific opportunity, that number has fallen more than 3300. the drop is severe in fy-13. we will be funding 700 fewer project grants. it might have led to the next
big discovery in cancer research were launched a career for promising young scientists. .e will never know we have unprecedented scientific opportunity. we should make rocker spent leaps and bounds. -- progress by leaps and bounds. this is troubling when one considers the investment being made in the rest of the world. is quitegraph striking. i hope people can look at it without being troubled. it shows the relative increases in support for biomedical thearch by countries around globe. you'll notice the united states stands out on this graph in a very troubling way. i cannot gloss over the severity of the situation. the potential damage to scientific momentum and economic growth and morale is profound.
nihite these trying times, has continued to pursue its mission and is accelerating in scientific discovery in several key areas. i would like to highlight a couple. let's consider cancer. one person dies from cancer every minute in the united states. nih research has contributed to death rates with falling by one percent each year. economists estimate that each one percent drop in the u.s. saves us money, making it a good investment. we want to do more. is accordedenome effort to accelerate our understanding on the menotti are -- on the molecular basis of the cancer. there are 20 types of cancers. --ntity is by identifying
identifying, we are gaining a better understanding behind the disease. recently, researchers reported a major development. in a study by the reported, they discover that the genetic row file of a deadly form of uterine cancer closely resembles the profile of the most lethal of very and breast cancer. it has dramatic applications for prognosis and treatment. the breakthrough and others like it can lead to the identification of new therapies to a patient's unique genetic profile. instead of one- size-fits-all therapy. advancing biomedical discovery's in the area of stem cell. it is revolutionizing the way that we do things.
these cells can be programmed into a wide variety of types including liver cells or bloo cells. with a skin cell from a patient and re- create that same individuals uzis in a judicial -- that pertiduals disease in a dish. you can imagine how this might work for a disease in the blood. we are not stopping there. i like to focus on a scientific endeavor we are planning for fy- 14. neurological and psychological disorders such as autism and schizophrenia and alzheimer's, it it in flicks a tremendous toll on society. their pathologies remained largely unknown due to the complexity of the human brain.
it is built on 86 billion neurons. each with thousands of connections. one thought is beyond the reach of scientific understanding. neuroscience has created new opportunities for unlocking these mysteries. it has placed us in the position of proposing a truly bold new initiative. will begin its braint -- in fy-14, the and initiative. it will accelerate new technology that will enable researchers to produce dynamic pictures of the brain. it will show how compex brain cells interact. to do that, we need to be able to record signals a much greater numbers of brain cells and at a more rapid pace than what is possible. innovations like functional mri have contributed substantially
to our expanding knowledge of the brain, significant breakthroughs in how we treat neurological and psychiatric disease will require a new generation of tools. and measuring circuits and networks living organisms, we can begin to translate data into models that will decode experience and motor activity and potentially even memory, emotion, thought. hasher major initiative laid the groundwork for mapping the human brain. , noninvasiveage image of a healthy human being using a new kind of mri. dramatic seton a of advances in mri scanning. he gives a 3-d picture of a wiring of nerve cells in your brain. this proves that you are more than just her dna environmental factors and life experiences. her works are genetics to great your unique neural connections.
this is where the brain initiative comes in. it is designed to develop technologies that are capable of recording the activity of hundreds of thousands of neurons in real-time. it allows us to determine the way in which brains function. the brain initiative is ambitious. the details of a land will stretch over a decade or more. it is being worked out. we must begin now. the brain initiative will provide a better understanding at the root of human neurological disorders and revolutionize the field of neuroscience. the catalyzed the treatments. i have told you about the tremendous progress we have made and opportunities that lie on the horizon. i have to drive on the impact of sequestration. let me close by putting a human face on exactly who is at risk during these trying fiscal times. i recently met with one of my
former superstar students. spent two years working on my lap in nih before going to -- before in my lab in nih going to grad school. to sees what is happening biomedical research in the u.s. she is concerned about her future. many of her contemporaries have begun looking for opportunities outside of science or outside of this country. she wrote me these words after our recent meeting. have of my role models ideas that can change a world, but are unable to get funding. i cannot erase the fear that this is my future. this is a defining moment. my fear is that we are putting an entire generation of scientists at risk. if they go away, they will not
come back. sequestration is optimizing the future of biomedical research. .ut thank you i look for to answering any questions you and this committee may have. >> thank you, dr. collins. thank you free statement and bringing us up-to-date. we will begin a round of five minute questions. .ere we go we will begin a round of five minute questions. as a sediment in the statement -- opening statement, i'm concerned when money gets tight, there is to shy way from rewarding ideas that think outside of the box. we have talked about that many times over the last many years.
i'm concerned that you might tend to favor safer advances and avoid ideas that are older. -- bolder. any validity to that? ofthat is certainly an area considerable concern for all of us. imagine yourself on a study section we have a big pile of scientists in front of you and you know you will only be able to fund a very small number of those. the have in front of you a very powerful and strong proposal that builds on previous work and establish a new will be successful in your something over here that is risky that does not have the same track record. if it works, it can be grammar can come up and you're not sure it will work. in that setting where you would love to fund both, you may not be able to. there can be a tendency to go with what you know will produce results. that could be just the wrong thing to do. we have a number of rogue
grants that aim to try to encourage innovation -- we have a number of programs that aim to try to encourage innovation. we he the new innovator award. you cannot apply unless you have an out-of-the-box idea. there is this common fund effort. many institutes have initiated efforts of that sort as well. there is no question about it. no magic in terms of innovation potential. we are only funding 15 or 16% or comeof applications that in. there is a lot of innovation at the 18th percentile the 22nd percentile. most of us have a hard time telling difference between a grant that scores at the 11th percentile and another. one will get funded and another may not. the real anxiety we feel is how much talent is between state and how many ideas are not dated -- not getting followed up on.
700 grantson drops that we hoped would be funded. were somehe 700 there great innovative out-of-the-box ideas. talk about thinking outside the box. your program and the purpose. >> we do two things to try to ensure we do the best that we can to address the concerns you and many others have raised about mistaking under fiscal circumstances. the first thing we do is to look at a large number of grant applications. by saying this is really innovative and an important issue. number two, we set up special programs. one is called provocative
questions. these questions come from groups that we assembled around the country into disciplinarian groups. they raise difficult questions that we think technology might be prepared to address. foran invite applications answering about 24 this year. -- we funding last year are trying to answer the 24 questions you have selected as important and difficult questions. answer guarantee some to the question you have a properly raised. >> a follow-up question on that later. i want to ask in the short time that i have left about this brain initiative. the new brain initiative. the wrong way saying it.
anyway, mapping the brain and and the human genome project. some of us were there at the beginning. we knew what the result would be. end result was. what are we looking at here? is there something that we are looking for to reach at a certain point in time? >> what we would like to do with the brain initiative is understand how information processes in the circuits. as dr. collins told you, we are beginning to have better and better maps of connections between nerve cells in different regions of the brains. . we can layout and circuits that control movement or vision or hearing.
what we do not understand is how information is processed through those pathways. we have to understand that. we simply do not have the tools to do that now. that would be one of the major goals for the first five years for the brain initiative. but are tools for technology to be able to track activity and circuits -- in circuits to understand how information is being exchanged from one cell to another. than justcomplicated could have a -- it greater impact. neverillion patients -- talking about a trillion or something like that. i do not know. for youryou very much
compelling testimony. thank you for coming to kansas city. thank you for riding your bike in support for raising money for cancer. >> and barbecue. >> that was the real inducement. thank you for highlighting kansas city barbecue. , a follow to what the chairman was asking. on the brain initiative, the budget documents are not very specific in regard to what we should expect as far as budget request and money to be spent over a time frame. the next 10 years? what are the goals in the short term of this project? i guess the first five or 10 years is the goal. what would we expect the request
to be in regard to the budget into the picture? -- future? >> an appropriate question. this is sort of like a genome project in 1988. it was clear there was an opportunity. they would not happen without a coordinated effort, particularly a focus on technology. no one was sure what the projector would look like as far as accomplishing that goal. we are in the process of trying to find that in the long term over the next 10 or 15 years. what could be accomplished? what would the steps be? what technology do we need? what would the cost be? we have put together a remarkable group. a vision or a neuroscientist -- visionary neuroscientists. --the course of the night next few months, layout
milestones of what this project will accomplish. by the summer of 2014, you have a maturity till the roadmap of where the brain initiative needs to go and how quickly it can get there. too not have a clear answer your question at the moment in terms of what the budget or directory this may the over the next 10 or 15 years. make sure we have the science plan layout. >> there is no justifiable reason that we should expect that plan at this way? that is not accomplishing will? accomplishable? >> it would be reassured to attach budget numbers to a plan and be embraced and endorsed by all scientific experts that we want to participate and take part in this. it has always been our view that if you're going to try to start something really bold, the
first step is to map out the signs and the gear out but what does that mean in terms of the timetable and the costs. we have to set priorities expectations.ic we do not think it would be right to a given the opportunity. >> dr. comments, this might be for you. -- dr. collins, this might be for you. let me ask about the status of -- i'm supportive of its established. -- establishment. i'd be interested in having you bring me up-to-date on its developments. one of the environments in which it works is with the economic conditions and physical conditions that we face, private drug companies, there is a gap for what has been described as a valley of death between reykjavik discovery on one side and patient benefit and
commercial success on the other. discovery on one side and patient benefit and commercial success on the other. >> thank you for the question. let me say up front how wonderful it has been to work with folks in kansas at the university and those in the low foam a society. some groundbreaking projects going on. lymphoma -- those in the lymphoma society. some groundbreaking projects going on. fore is a drug developed arthritis. turned out to have activity against leukemia. and to the delight of all this, and very resistant kind of cancer. the protocol is well along in a clinical trial.
this is an amazing and quick turnaround to stop if you have to start from scratch, it would take years and billions of dollars to the it to a clinical trial. if you can identify a compound in trade for a new purpose, you have that background data. you shave off years and many costs. they have agreed to make it available for new uses that turned out not to be effective for the ritual use, but they are known to be safe. this is crowd sourcing. the opportunity to find a new use for heavily invested compound that may turn out to have failed, but might be just the thing for another thing. developing a new and very high- tech way of identifying whether or not a drug will be safe before he gave it to a human
.atient for the largest investment in clinical science of which there are 60 across the entry. basically earning that network together in a way that makes the whole better than the sum of its parts. has onlyven though it been around for a year and maybe five months, the evidence is very clear. his is an opportunity that we have -- this is an opportunity we have grabbed onto. the private sector is enthusiastic. .cademics are fired up about it this is a good thing for nih. >> very good. i assume you are the one who claimed valley of death and crowd sourcing.
>> i do not think i can take credit, but you're welcome to use the word. senator mikulski. , mr. chairman. dr. collins, welcome and your entire team and other heads of institutes. i just wanted to tell you in the warmest way what a sense of joy and pride that i have representing nih. it is located in my home state of maryland. at aw that every day premier institution, it is one of the reasons we want to be in the senate. be an advocate for the kind of resources and policy so you get to be you and what the american people want you to do, which is
defined here is for disease and find containments of disease. work for those things that can prevent them from happening or escalating. it is not only a source of pride, but i can tell you i will acrossth other senators party lines to make sure they get the kind of allocation they need to do their job. much has been said here about the sequester. i will not go into it in detail. i'm concerned about the negative impact that it has. one of the people who work at nih and those who participate in programs at the university of and others that are out there working every day. that is the genius of what we do. it is not government owned and
operated. it is functioning around the world. we are him you talk to others around the world. -- who you are, you talk to others around the world. not our -- are -- i am struck but what you have done. deaths from heart attacks and stroke, it has decreased. there's medical science behind him. this is for all americans. hiv/aids, read remember -- we
remember. testimony.e is no longer a death sentence. for the children of the world in our own country, 90% of the children with the most common childhood leukemia have 90% of surviving. what a phenomenal story. and have one of those cushy things that most people dream about. come back and head up a institute. cancer rates are down across the board. this is stunning. we saw a brilliant actress, and esteemed actress to the bold where she had a double
mastectomy. she knew her genetic situation. andcould have decisions informed consent. this is who we are and this is what we're fighting for. i do not mean to give a speech, but i'm so excited about you. i want to say to my colleagues, this is why we have to not only -- the sequester i think has a effect.ding i want to do all i can to cancel the sequester this year and also castle -- canceled the sequester for the next nine years. we hope that the other side -- i whether -- wonder about the
other side of the dome. he took all of it out of domestic discretionary spending. i will not turn this into politics. we want to be above politics. but we will have to do with politics. i want others to know i will work with them. tot i see my job is doing thatyou do your mission the united states -- people dei states gave you. -- people of the united states gave him. -- you. i will not ask questions. i have taken up a lot of time. thank you very much for your
on this particular subcommittee. all the input and leadership you have given us, we thank you very much. we will return to senator shelby. >> thank you. first of all, i want to associate myself with the remarks of senator mikulski. she said it so well. i believe that this committee in top congress that the investment we can make in america to save lives and improve lives is to invest in the nih. i would like to see us double. i know that is hard to do. get on the upward trend and not the downward trend. allow medical research in this
country. i see the results of it. having said that, researchers at the university of alabama in birmingham conducted an important study on very premature babies. a study from 2004 2 2009 that was funded by the national institutes of health. they were trying to understand proper oxygen levels for these volatile premature babies. study has had an important effect on care. , studyh like this improves care.
the question.or very important indeed stop the standard of care reflects what we know at the time. .- very important indeed the standard of care reflects would be no what the time. there time to do the best care -- they were trying to do the best care. they may not be best served by all the opportunities of standard care. that is certainly the case of the optimum oxygen levels to get to premature babies. >> but you learn from studies. >> that is right. we invest heavily in these kinds of studies. many give you more examples. individuals who are going , there haslysis never been a clear understanding of what the right schedule is and how may times a week and how many hours. that is a huge impact on
somebody's quality of life in terms of how much time they spend their and also the quality of life is dependent upon how effective dialysis is. we aim to try to get an answer to that. everyone in that study is getting the kind of treatment that we consider to be standard, but we are trying to have a refinement of that. this is very important. we depend upon ash of yours to the basis research. -- we depend upon -- >> it goes to the basis of your research. >> yes. uab received a letter about the support clinical try doing.l they were they determined that uab should have informed parents of an babiesed death of their are participating in the study.
the risk or unknown at the time of the commencement. there is no specific science that existed at the start -- signs that existed at the start. were babies in greater risk than babies not in the study? >> no, i do not believe they were. >> we talked about the sequester. i will move on. institutional awards, we have gotten into this before. it is important to recognize that the next scientific discovery might come from anywhere. you do not know where. i believe institutions that do not historically have high caness rates, nih contribute to biomedical research. we need to give these
institutions in opportunity. as we have discussed before, the eligibility criteria for the it issome of us believe admitted -- outdated. understood that no significant information was said to have been provided to the subcommittee as of yet. dr. comments, could you work with us to develop a better credit carry a, eligibility rate. -- to develop a better eligibility rights area -- criteria? >> i do agree that there is opportunity. the idea of medicine has been undertaking a study of whether the criteria is in fact need of
a revision. that report will be released fairly soon. it will be a good time to have a conversation. theet's talk about breakthroughs in the research that has been done in cystic fibrosis. we have talked about as before. there have been breakthroughs there. would you have had some of them? how are we doing in that area? >> is an area of the enormous excitement. played a role in collaborating with another lab. in the last couple of years, the exciting fruits of that in terms of drug therapy have emerged with one drug. it was approved in record time by the fda. only 45%ls have had -- of cystic fibrosis patients are in that category. 5% of cystic
fibrosis patients are in that category. researchds upon nih that has been done. a wonderful collaboration with the cystic fibrosis foundation and the heart and lung institute. it is a great success story and one we hope to replicate for other diseases. >> thank you. mr. chairman, i'm these to join you in welcoming our distinguished panel of witnesses today. dr. collins, we appreciate you being here again and coming out into the countryside where we live and work. >> i enjoy it very much. >> we appreciate it. it might interest you to know that recently, there was an announcement in a hospital for
children in jackson, mississippi. -- a doctor told me of the baby born that was hiv-positive. it is attracting attention again to the distinction that mississippi has people like a doctor who wrote many of your textbooks and others who have pioneered and research in different areas. we look to supporting the work that you do. we hope you will be able to provide some seed money or incentive grant funding to ensure that we continue to embark upon daring and innovative approaches dealing with help albums in america. thank you.
-- health problems in america. thank you. thank you for being here. i really do want to complement you all as a group. workll have efforts and and advocacy. it has changed the world. we appreciate your efforts very much. there are a lot of things that the government possibly we could argue does not need to be doing. ist you all represent something i'm excited about in arkansas. we appreciate the work that you do. one thing i would like to ask about, we have to make some significant decisions. that isve research publicly funded, generally we allow that research to be made
available. is that correct? >> we strongly support the need for that. the public has paid for the research and the public should have access to it. nih has taken the lead to make sure that kind of access happens in a timely fashion. a recent suggestion by the obama administration that this kind of policy should be applied broadly across agencies. many are looking at the nih model is something to replicate. >> again, i appreciate that and agree wholeheartedly. i'm glad that that is a policy. reason notision a to do that in some cases? abouthaps your talk circumstances in which the data that these been generated creates a risk to the public if
it fell into the wrong hands. i'll ask another doctor to comment on this. it falls into areas that might misused. >> yes, thank you for that session. it is a delicate balance. it is called dual use research and concern. the public health imperative understands that the processor looking at is quite important. yet you're concerned with two things. one is the deliberate misuse of things that have to do with potentially pathogenic microbes that could be used in a ro in arist -- in a cairo -- bioterror situation. transcends all areas of research. it is a queue when you are dealing with the study and perhaps even the creation of a be that might be an issue.
tend to be that, we as open and as transparent as possible. we are careful about it and not careless. not allowing knowledge to be generally spread throughout the scientific community has more serious effects than the risk of having something being used in a way accidentally or deliberately. it goes with the concept that dr. collins mentioned that we have been the leader and continue to stress the open nature of scientific information. was put safeguards. a lot of research involves people and things like that. we can knows but the safeguards in to protect so that we are able to release data without jeopardizing people or whatever.
so, i think you're getting at the issue of privacy and confidentiality for people who are part of clinical trials. many have been willing to volunteer and take part in the study and are happy to be part of it, but do not want all medical records to be accessible to everyone on the planet. we deal with that dares to and make every effort to keep information only in the hands of those who have a need to know as part of the research project. >> again, thank you for being here. i really do ratio all of your efforts. i look forward to working with you in the future and supporting your efforts. >> i look for to that as well. thank you. second round.rt a i wanted to follow-up on the brain initiative. when i first heard about this some and said,
how will this affect the research on alzheimer's? i do not know. report to mount -- a report came of that said the total cost care for individuals with will ber's disease more than 120 till it is -- will be more than $1 trillion. if were costs increasing keep on this introductory. tell me -- it would keep on this trajectory. tell me about the brain initiative. what will it do in terms of the research we're doing on alzheimer's question right or is this something -- in -- itmer's cap go alzheimer's? or is this something different? the long-term goal of the
brain initiative is to be able to develop treatment for patients across a broad range of psychiatric and neurological disorders. i will give you a very specific example. in the case of parkinson's disease, one of the major advancements has been the development of deep brain stimulation. this simulation, kind of like brain pacemakers, it can transform the quality of life of those patients. they can move freely. they're much more active. in some cases appear to not even have parkinson's. this stimulation is very crude. it is an electrode that is influencing the circuit behavior. if we understood more about how the circuits work that control
the movement and compulsions and speech, we would be able to ,esign much better inventions electrochemical inventions that would rebuild most circuits in a much more effective way. forulations have been used compulsive disorders and depression. in each case, it would go in a different part of the brain, but it is the same crude stimulation. if we understood the circuits disorders and depression, we could come up with much more effective ways to change the circuitry 2,000,008 -- two ameliorate that disease. >> that is good, but we have a crisis with alzheimer's.
i'm concerned were not doing enough to focus more research. if you could put off the onset for alzheimer's, that would save so much money. as noted >> as noted, the cost of alzheimer's is huge. is one thing to recognize the problem, now we have the responsibility to address it in the best possible way. the most responsible way to do invest across the spectrum from the most basic discovery on through translation. we have some important and innovative clinical trials happening. last year we are able to identify people at enormously and again forisk the first time to treat them.
we have new opportunities we did not have before we still have an opportunity and an obligation to better understand the cellular, the molecular underpinning so we can continue the effort to generate new generations of investment. that is where this brain initiative happens. it is clear that alzheimer's not just a single cell type of disease. it involves the effects of communication between cells. the more we understand, the better we can intervene with specific things better going wrong with the alzheimers disease. >> your vote telling me the brain initiative does have an impact on alzheimer's research. >> one very surprising finding of the last couple of years has been that there is abnormal electrical activity, almost like seizures in the brains of alzheimer's patients and is not clear the extent to which that abnormal activity influences the
course of the disease. if we knew better how to modulate activity and which were the right circuits, which could potentially intervene in those activities in alzheimer's patients and potentially have a very positive effect on the quality of life. >> the concern we have about not being overly concerned, that we don't fell to take advantage of truly bold, innovative new approaches. this is an example. we are doing the best mccann to translate what we think is the best information about costs -- doing the best we can, we have to examine broadly the information that will tell us about new approaches that may be the best or most definitive solutions in the end. cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the united states.
it is certainly a driver of health care expenditures. i am told it costs the u.s. $312.60 billion a year. the sunday new york times had an article on nih study using genetic sequencing to find factors that increased the risk of heart disease beyond the usual suspects of high cholesterol, high blood pressure, smoking, and diabetes. could you tell us more about that study? >> thank you for that question. this is one of the great success stories in biomedical research. discover signs related to the pathways that determined the bad cholesterol metabolism, it led to nobel prizes for brown and gold steamed. they had a -- brown and gold goldstein.
lead to a drug, statins. a lot of us in this room who may be over 50 may be using this. that partnership is critical to advancing madison. medscine.ncing onre are still patients status to have a heart attack every few moments in this country. that tells us there is still unfinished business, and solve mysteries. that article related to us continuing to try to figure out those patient who we don't really understand all the risk factors, all the predictors of who is going to have a heart attack. as you saw in that article, a devastating impact on the whole family that we really could not explain, but that is where we have these unprecedented opportunities.
new technologies, we are able to sequence parts of the cino and probe into why is this family so different and distinctive in a way that is really devastating. we hope that will identify new pathways and tell us more about the risk of heart attack. that is the promise of the future. those are the investments we need to make now for those breakthroughs tomorrow. >> is there enough research to give us a clue as to what those other factors may be? >> there is a lot of promise. perhaps one example of the harbinger of that relates to one molecule in which a similar sort of strategy, built into the molecular determinants of a group of families that have an abnormal level of ldl cholesterol and the probing using a modern do gnomic technology unveiled this new pathway that told us another
potential target. it is part of the recapitulation of the public-private partnership which discover signs translated into drug development. a new drug has been developed the targets that same sort of pathway. that is now in the midst of clinical trials to see if one type of statins were going after the new targets and can give us more bang for the buck. one of the things we are learning is that although you have that bad cholesterol, we are also preaching not just clogging the arteries but the activation of the body's immune system that turns against the blood vessel. just like your allergies flare- up, the blood vessels are inflamed. we are looking at new targets they not only target the cholesterol level but that inflammatory response that also promotes heart attacks.
that isunding a study looking at cackling that inflammation part of the story to see if we can make the next great breakthrough. >> i wish you great success. dr. collins, i have very little time left, but as people know, kansas is a very rural state. i have concerns about clinical trials. i assume for a clinical trial to have validity, it takes a wide range of demographics and characteristics. seems to me there are barriers toward some people based upon geography, age, other demographic and personal characteristics, perhaps fear of government research, lack of awareness of clinical trial availability. what can i doing or do as a senator in caring for kansans to make sure they are aware of the opportunity to participate in clinical trials
that can potentially improve their health and save their lives? >> right question. nih is by law required to be sure we are reaching out to a diverse population and we tracked that carefully. all the individuals who review clinical trial grant proposals follow those to make sure we have a diversity population involvement in the studies, whether heart disease, diabetes, cancer, or whatever. course we are dependent on public knowledge about the ability to be part of such trials. i appreciate your question very much in that regard. there is a website that is heavily utilized and every clinical trial with support and most of those supported by industry are also listed on that side. you can search it readily for a particular condition in some particular part of the country. trial, the nature of the
and people can decide if they want to take part. getting out the word about that would be a wonderful thing to do. i appreciate the suggestion of helping with that. there are 25 sites across the country and one is a kansas state university. we hope to incorporate into the clinical trials undertaken by ,hat networks telemedicine which would enable patients at a distance to be seen by an treatment recommended through the main site. we are very interested in engaging in this. >> i like that answer. thank you very much. >> last year we discussed a new initiative that you started to answer all would call provocative questions in cancer research. when budgets arein,
the need for out of the box ideas to answer some of the big research questions can lead to the next big breakthrough. you are in the forefront. i think your project is an innovative approach to define some of the unanswered questions. would you share with the committee this afternoon some of the progress you have made on this initiative and what provocative questions have been --rded grants echo >> this have been awarded grants? >> the program is only a little over your old so we don't have results yet. we have results of advertising for applications. the first year we chose 24 questions, the kinds of questions that were raised very dramatically from questions about why people with profound obesity have increased risk of
dying of certain kinds of cancer. there were questions about why drugs that are not all that effective in many circumstances like chemotherapy for certain kinds of cancer or remarkably effective for testicular and other rare forms of cancer. we of us questions about behavior. why do people still smoke when they know how bad smoking is? we received 750 applications to try to answer those questions. all 24 questions were addressed by at least several of the applications. bunning in short. we were able to fund slightly over 50 applications that --ress a funded grants addressed most but not all of the questions. we then revised the questions with new ones that came from
recent workshops and reconfigured some questions that we thought would be more address more effectively if week rephrased them and we received several hundred so far this year. there is obviously a pent-up need. how good the implications are is hard to say. many receive very high marks from the reviewers. how well they will do is always say crapshoot, frankly. we have got a lot of feedback from our community. unlike the idea that we are not dictating the quest, is coming from a community effort. morale is poor because of the low success rate. we are trying to say we are partners in trying to develop the kinds of questions we think the community should answer and the kind of risk we should be taking. we see this as one of the ways
we try to cope with sequestration, the reduced opportunity to get grants. >> i guess we all talk about autoimmune and the research there. various investigators have come along way with dealing with autoimmune research because it goes to the basis of so many things. where are you today in trying to deal with lupus? we talked about this before. there have been some breakthroughs there. where do you think you might go ?ow g >> thank you for the question. one of the approaches that we and other institutes have taken with regard to auto immune diseases is making some significant advances in the
field of " recalled immune tolerance. to train the body's immune system not respond inappropriately against certain antigens. in the case of lupus, those are self antigens and that is my the call at ottawa community. several years ago we established an immune tolerance network that was originally established to look at ways we could prevent rejection of transplants. we have expanded that now into the study of a number of other diseases that are clearly characterized by autumn in phenomenon, including type 1 diabetes and certain allergies as well as rare mythological in diseases like systemic lupus. example ofutiful studying the fundamental, basic research on the immune system that is now being translated into therapies to suppress inappropriate immune responses.
collido about any therapies tht are coming along? >> i just want to mention one collaboration underway right now which is quite groundbreaking and innovative. that is called the target validation consortium, which is a group that has come together between the industry and nih to try to identifymong the well a from basic scienceets that ha studies, which are the ones that are actually going to work? industry wants to put their bet on something that is going to lead to a drug that is safe and effective. identified four areas of great opportunity. one is autumn in diseases. the other is taught to diabetes, alzheimer's, and schizophrenia. we are in the midst of the divine -- of the design phase but 10 companies that have
agreed to sign up. if it looks promising the next couple of months, we are likely to see a major new kind of collaborative effort where industry and nih agree this is open access, competitive information. let's find most appropriate ta aurn industry lose to find thaxt drugs. >> thank you very much. >> if we just up with "a" words, that would keep us busy for a lifetime, alzheimer's, arthritis, etc. i want to raise the super bug problem because this is a significant issue and i would like to know where are we
heading with our research? what is your recommendation? is it recommendations that should be implemented in more hospitals? significantally issue that we are hearing from both constituents and hospitals. >> you are very correct, madam chairwoman, that the issue of multiple drug-resistant bacteria, and we were just concentrate on them now as opposed to other types of resistant microbes, or a very important problem in the u.s. and worldwide and a growing problem. up-to-the-minute -- up to a a significantals, proportion is resistant to standard drugs, leading to the unnecessary death of people in hospital. this is a major public health issue.
the public health approach relates to some of the recommendations of our own centers of disease control and prevention and the other is the basic research approach that we are taking at nih. the public health approach of things like isolation, identification of people when you transfer from one hospital to another, to let people know that you are transferring somebody with a resistant microbes. nih thatproblem at the we luckily solved. we learn that you have to make people aware when you were dimon with a drug-resistant microbes in a patient. washing hands, all kinds of isolation procedures. the core problem we have been intensively addressing over the last couple of years is the lack of a really robust pipeline of new drug that could take the place of the drugs that are now, to which the microbes are resistant. if you look at how things work interact with
industry, we do the fundamental basic concept and then go into phase 1 or face to trial. the industry is responsible for making the product generally meet us halfway or so. the risk economically for a company to invest a lot of money into the development of new antibiotics is such that we have call de-- help what we betterem, getting understanding of mechanisms, how you can target on a microbe new targets for drugs to make it easier for the companies to get involved in providing us with this robust pipeline. that will be a very good approach. we have just recently established a new clinical trial that work or multiple resistant bacteria in hospitals. ands a very serious problem
we are taking it very seriously at the nih. >> that is promising to hear and we have to look at the role of behavior. , is this the methodology you are talking about when you work with ?ndustry because there's so much risk in some of these areas, the private sector is not going to get into it and we do create our own valley of death because we don't go far enough. is this one of those endeavors? >> you are quite right. be broad and can yawning because the far side of it is even further away because of the companies lack of commercial motivation to get engaged. you develop a drug for highly resistant organism and people
say you should not use that drove except in very specific circumstances, otherwise you will use it up and it won't be good anymore. >> that we get to another thing. i know you've talked about alzheimer's. i want to talk about autism. this is another epidemic that has hit our family of fellow americans. school and almost every extended family, there is a child facing the aspects of the spectrum of autism. can you share with us where we are heading with research on this? is this something we should labette -- share with us where we are honest. makingarea that is
progress is to understand genetic contributions to autism. we'd sit -- we think maybe 15- new -- it result of almost always seems to be in a pathway that embalms synapses in the brain. that seems to the common thread about what is wrong and optimism. the connections are not forming in the way they should, but there is much more to say your projects i think that is one of the most promising avenue and there are a number of genetic studies looking at trios where the parents are normal and the child has autism. using advanced genetic techniques, identifying the genes that are responsible. what is particularly interesting is that as the number of genes it affects development connections and the development
of the synapses. of most interest is the fact that the same genes are being identified in epilepsy it and schizophrenia and number of other pinero developmental disorders. will be very important to figure out first of all what those mutations due to development, the mutations are so different. also despite the advances of genetics, that is not the whole story. there must be profound influence is based on other environmental events, some of them probably happening during pregnancy. there's a great deal of effort to try to understand that as well. >> thank you for what you do every day.
>> thank you, mr. chairman. i would like to ask about two very different examples of the uptick in -- about the ability to work with other agencies. i am on the veterans affairs committee. the panel here is very concerned about veterans suicide. they are working really hard to try to do something under a lot of pressure to perform. one of my concerns is the easiest thing to do if you have a caseload that is bigger than it can handle, there is a tendency to over medicate. i think that is a problem. but aside from that, the ability of your agency to come in and recognize there is a problem. they are spending a lot of money in trying to solve the problem. if there is an effort that we could collaborate, and you all use these unique expertise that you have to help with that problem. the other thing is, i was at the
toxicological lab in pine bluff verythe fda, and another differing example is the nanotechnology. what helped me grasp it was the fact that when you look up, you .hink of infinite upnwaa with nanotechnology, you are dealing with infinite smallness, which is amazing. you get very small, and everything changes. it is something that offers tremendous potential. one of these things that truly can change the world by helping us not use as much resources, better lubrication and things like that where things do not wear out. it is the ability for you all to step in and help the fda deal with those kinds of problems and support the work that the wheres
doing. >> with regard to suicide, i think all of us are deeply concerned with what the rates are of suicide especially with returning servicemen. we have all been working closely with the department of defense in a program called are restarts which has an ruled more than 100,000 recruits trying to determine the warning signs that would give us a better chance to intervene before suicide occurs. this is a close collaboration with the department of defense. >> the next up would be dealing with people that are actually at that might be helpful also predicts suicide is more common than homicide in this country. there's a great deal of effort to try to understand ways to
identify risk. obviously for people who have not been in the military to look at what are the risk factors for suicide, bipolar illness is a very -- a correlate. when people with that condition go into a deep depression, that is often where the risk is highest. >> and heavily medicating. in some cases that makes it worse or better. >> i think the experience has medication, itr can be lifesaving. there are challenges in terms of getting it just right. we are still working on new interventions that would be more effective than what is currently available. most of the drugs have been around for quite a long time as try to see if we can find new answers. with regard to the question about toxicology and
nanotechnology, the commissioner of the fda and i jointly run a leadership council but tries to identify ways are agencies can work closely together helping fda with identifying new regulatory science opportunities and identifying areas where more science is needed. nanotechnology is a very interesting example. question about the safety of applications for human help, given that it is not exactly a simple area. we are part of the national now technology initiative and we mentioned earlier the brain initiative is trying to come up with ways that can sample the 86 billion neurons. we need nanotechnology tools to do so.
it is very much inappropriate question and we are working on it. >> thank you. there was a question about the super bugs. we are talking about the new avian flu. you have been down that road before. , andnew one has popped up there have been 131 confirmed cases, 32 deaths. there has been no evidence of sustained human to human transmission, but the problem is that there is a very high death rate, but the birds that
are infected have no symptoms. correlating research on this along with the cbc? >> that is a very good example of nice collaboration and coordination between the different agencies including fda. reportede three deaths yesterday and today. we are approaching this exactly the same way as we approach the h1n1 that started in 2003 that is still smoldering, as well as the 2009 h1n1 reel pandemic that we had. that is virtually within days of noticing that the virus was isolated, sequence, sent to the who then created c viruses.
that is a virus that we make that we can then distribute to the different pharmaceutical companies that we have contractual relationships with for our regular, seasonal flu. they are already starting to make what we call pilot lot to determine whether we will be able to test these. the nih, which is our main responsibility, has already developed a design for clinical protocols to test what is the the doses differ between children, adults, elderly, and pregnant women. i have seen the trial designs and they are ready to go. it will likely be by the end of june or the beginning of july. we will start clinical trials. we may not ever have to use the vaccine, but the important thing is we will get those lots and
know how to use it so if it does begin to have sustained human to human trent visibility, with the that i have right now, if it does, then we can scale up and have a vaccine available. >> we have looked for genes that might predict whether it is sent .o the core resistant they appeared to still be antivirals. those >> wouldn't it be great if you didn't have to do this every time a new virus appears? that is quite exciting. the mine i have to have this conversation for 10 or 15 years. >> how close are we to that? >> i can tell you we are clearly closer than we were a year or two ago, and let me explain why. the universal flu vaccine that
you could give to someone and it would bid increasing protection against a wide range of influenza strains from season to season and even from pandemic to pandemic. what was discovered a few years ago, there is a part of the protein that is the main part of human protein that is shielded from the immune system recognizing it. when you get infected or get a vaccine every year, your body's immune system does not recognize a part of that protein that does not change from a strain to strain. the park the changes looks like a mushroom. it has a head and a stock. from season to season. when you have of pandemic, it changes a lot. stalk, there's a sequence
of a particular protein that does not change from flu to flu. we have to figure a way to show the immune system and we have shown it in animals, mice, ferrets, and monkeys that when you show them this protein, they make antibodies against a wide array of influenza. we are getting ready to go into a phase to trial. i cannot give you a year when we will have it but we are a heck of a lot closer than we were the last time he asked that question. >> that is pretty encouraging. i had no idea. just think of the health implications. >> that would be enormous. >> and the savings in illnesses, hospitalizations, loss of worked, my goodness.
knowing that you are safe against some of these pandemic flus. >> and you could stockpile. week raised to make a vaccine to be ready in the fall to give to people so they can have id for the winter. if you have a universal flu vaccine that essentially covers it all, you can start making it right now for a few years from now. thatep us informed because is very encouraging. especially if you have something you know you can do for children, adults, pregnant women, all the different types of people that need this type of vaccine could be >> when you come to the nih, i will show you where it is done. >> just a brief question, dr. collins, what i would like to have you do is assure me that
there are actions in place that make certain that both well- established investigators are funded and we are not neglecting the incubator type and garments driveoung investigators and provide great breakthroughs. most important resource we have is that talented scientists to do the work, and some of them are in mid-career an incredibly at the top of their game, and others just getting started with visions and drive and the sad news is that all those are taking a hit right now. we do what we can, particularly with early stage investigators, to make sure they have a chance to get started. we have them compete against each other. they don't have to compete in
the same school as far as funding decisions with someone who already has an established last. there is no magic here when success rates have fallen for everybody. talent all through the career range of the people we support from the on to the of their career. >> i have never seen and not be able to answer questions and i know you have the specifics. are the numbers of new applicants, individuals who have never applied for organizations that have never applied for grants, is that number changing? >> i am concerned that this year the number seem to be dropping back a bit.
that is troubling. it suggests that people are beginning to lose hope. why, whene investigators with a success rate of 50 or 60% spend most of their time writing a grant only to have it rejected, but they have to be writing another one or their lack is going to close. it is all but try to find of -- trying to find the funding. i am concerned that one of the warning signs the community is beginning to be significantly disheartened. is hard to collect precise data about exactly how many investigators have given up. we are in the process of trying to do that. suspiciously are
humorous that i am deeply worried. >> i find this hearing always a pleasure. it is one of the places within the halls of congress that when you leave the hearing you have a better outlook for what the future holds. so i appreciate very much would provide,our team something that americans desperately needs. something called hope. i would just encourage you to dinah know that there is hope and we all encourage her to andue that 3 in research the opportunity to provide hope to americans is worth the battle. we look forward to being allies with her in that effort to see that hope continues. correct that is wonderful and i will pass that word of encouragement to work.
up on the to follow- troubling information we have about so many veterans committing suicide. they come back from iraq or afghanistan and the devastation it does to their families, to society. my question is this. it, butknow if you have are there statistics going back to the end of the second world war in the number of veterans coming back and the number of suicides per thousand? the korean war, the vietnamese war, iraq, and so forth. that would be very troubling but may be informative, too. do you know if they have those statistics? >> i am sure there are such
statistics. i don't have them at my fingertips. one would have to look at the statistics with some caution due to the fact that in the past, suicides were not always reported because of the stigma attached to that. .hey will be skewed >> but the soldiers have gone through the awful stress always many things manifest that, but as a society, we need to be dropped how to prevent it, don't we? >> i totally agree with you. of the middle help institute would put forward to you a number of things that our mental health institute is trying to do in terms of figuring out how it fits
together with things like traumatic brain injury and ptsd. >> i think one of the differences between iraq, afghanistan or in earlier wars are that it provides explosive devices with significant, mile traumatic brain injury. there is evidence that it is an invisible wound and soldiers often do not recognize this is an issue and do not seek appropriate help. 1 added dimension, because so many of our soldiers have had someple tourists, volunteered and some did not. it puts a lot of stress on them and their families. maybe there are studies in to that, too. .dramatic effects of one,too, ts
>> we are identify risk factors and this ought to be looked at very carefully. if there is some indication that the number of tauruses a factor, obviously one would want to intervene and try to provide that kind of support that apparently is not currently sufficient. >> again, i want to thank you all for your dedicated public service. has been my privilege and pleasure to have either shared or been the ranking member of the subcommittee since 1989. i worked with some of you for a long time. every time we have you all up and just a reminder to all of us that there are just
certain they've we cannot back down from. we have made so many good strides in health research. especially in childhood leukemia, it is remarkable. and with the human genome project, we now have some keys that we have never had before. the new technologies that we .ave that we can use now it just seems that this is a toe to redouble our efforts, increase significantly if the funding for nih. how do you do that? thatems to be an attitude we want something for nothing. , it costst the best
something. in terms of the best scientists, the best brains, the best technologies and equipment. inhave always been the best biomedical research in this country. i am afraid we are falling way behind, so we've got to find sources of funding. back in the early 1990's, senator mark hatfield was the chair of this committee. i was ranking member at that time, and he was on this subcommittee. we came up with a proposal. i don't know if it was his idea or my idea, but the basis of its with this. the pharmacyut to and you buy a drug today, some of that money goes to research. healthn you buy
insurance, none of that goes for health research. this was about the time we worked on the clinton proposed health bill and stuff like that, and came up with the proposal. have every health insurance policy that he would have a certainmot, percentage of each one that would then go to the nih. , and itthis committee was two or 3 cents on the dollar. someone pointed out if you do that, that would just supplant what you are doing on the discretionary money. so what we will do is say okay, we will go into like a trust it can only bet accessed as long as the congress appropriates at a minimum what they did last year, plus an inflation factor.
we kind of pushed that along for a while. we got some push back from a health insurance industry and others. then that whole thing sort of faded out. now with this new health care coming along,are there is going to beat 35 million more people having health insurance policies, some of them subsidized by the government. if it is not time to revisit this and to think about some new source of funding. the ultimate payer will always be that individual person out there because their health insurance will go up to represent on the dollar. but they will have the satisfaction of knowing the
increase will go to only one thing, and that is n.i.h. research. cannot go anywhere else. somehow we have got to come up with this funding. anybody else got a better idea, the door is open. i am willing to look at anything if anybody has got a better idea, let me know about it. >> did you do some work as to how much money that would raise? >> it was quite significant. of cents ona couple the dollar. talked to some of my health insurance carriers. i suppose they could not high or
agenda. but again, just something i think -- if anybody else has a better idea, let me know. but with got to get more funding. but cannot continue to go down this road. i have 19 months left here. i would like to see this turn around. find a new source of dedicated revenue that will be there, that we know will be there year after year after year. that's got to happen. onis nice to give her a pat the back and say follow your dreams. i back up what gerry said on that. but there's got to be something there to make sure that those
dreams can be realized. that funding has to be there. i just think this is something we've got to address. the record will remain open for several days for additional statements are questions for the record. the hearing of the subcommittee is adjourned. thank you all very much. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] >> on friday, the house ways and means committee investigates the irs target of conservative groups. the treasury department inspector general for tax administration is scheduled to testify. steve miller, the former acting irs commissioner, was scheduled to testify. he resigned wednesday afternoon. live coverage begins at 9:00
a.m. eastern on c-span3 and the full report is available online. we have a link to it on our home page, >> at a hearing of the house judiciary committee, attorney general eric holder answer questions about the irs and the justice department's seizure of associated press phone records. he said he had recused himself from the investigation into the phone records. by hearing is chaired virginia congressman bob goodlatte.
[no audio] >> we do not have order in the hearing room. members of the audience must behave in an orderly fashion or else they will be removed from the hearing room. rule 11 of the house rules provided the chairman of the committee may punish breaches of order by center on the hearing. this is your last warning. the committee will come to order. the chair is authorized to declare recesses of the committee at any time. we welcome everybody today. welcome, attorney general holder, to your sixth
appearance before the house judiciary committee since your confirmation in 2009. we are happy to have you here with us today. last month, the city of boston and the nation as a whole was gripped with fear as the historic boston marathon, traditionally a day of celebration, was attacked by twin explosions that killed three people and injured more than 250. dzhokhar tsarnaev and his older brother, tamerlan tsarnaev set off the explosions, then shot and killed mit police officer sean collier and seriously wounded boston transit police officer richard donohue while attempting to elude capture. tamerlan died after a fierce gun battle with police and dzhokhar eventually surrendered after sustaining serious injuries himself. i would like to commend the fbi, and all of the federal, state and local law enforcement agents who worked tirelessly to identify the bombers and apprehend dzhokhar.
the patriots day attack in boston shows us that domestic terror threats are real, ongoing, and can have deadly consequences. in 2010, fbi director mueller and other intelligence officials warned us that domestic and lone-wolf extremists are now just as serious a threat to our safety as al-qaeda. we have been fortunate that, until april 15th of this year, previous domestic terror plots have been foiled. the bombings in boston remind us that the terror threat has not diminished, but that it is ever-present and evolving. it is critical that congress, and this committee in particular, ensure that our ability to detect, deter, and prosecute these threats keeps pace with this evolution. to that end, i look forward to hearing from you today about ways that congress can amend the federal rules for criminal to make sure that we are
able to prosecute terrorism cases, while still allowing law enforcement to learn critical information to stop future attacks. i am also concerned about reports that in the years leading up to the boston attack, several different federal agencies or departments received intelligence about the bombers. these agencies did not connect the dots -- and this is not the first time this has happened in recent years. the question that the administration and we in congress need to address is whether there are any improvements that can be made going forward to facilitate inter-agency information sharing, so that we can better thwart future domestic terrorists. i am also interested to hear today about how the department intends to tighten its belt in a responsible way during this time of fiscal uncertainty. i was pleased to hear that the department was ultimately able to prioritize its spending to avoid furloughing federal agents and prison guards in response to the sequester, which reduced the department's more than $27 billion budget by approximately 5 percent.
however, after learning of elaborate conferences with $12 cups of coffee, $10,000 pizza parties, and a vast array of duplicative grant programs, i am confident that there are many ways the department can root out waste and duplication without harming critical missions. with our national debt at more than $16 trillion, the american people deserve no less. i am also deeply concerned about a pattern i see emerging at the department under your leadership in which conclusions reached by career attorneys after thorough investigation are overruled by administration appointees for political reasons. for instance, investigators from this committee and the oversight and government reform committee have uncovered conclusive evidence that assistant attorney general tom perez, against the strong recommendations of career attorneys, struck a secret deal
with the city of st. paul in order to block the supreme court from freely and -- >> that is not correct information. >> the gentleman will have his opportunity to speak at a later time. the secret deal undermined rule of law and robbed the american taxpayers of the opportunity to recover over $200 million fraudulently obtained funds. what is more, the new york times recently reported that political appointees at the department, over the vehement objections of career attorneys, decided to commit as much as $4.4 billion in taxpayer money to compensate thousands of farmers who had never claimed bias in court. a small group of female and hispanic farmers, based on claims similar to those in pigford, had made allegations that the department of agriculture had discriminated against them in administering its loan programs. however, according to the times, career attorneys within
the department determined that there was no credible evidence of widespread discrimination, that the legal risks did not justify the costs, and that it was legally questionable to sidestep congress and compensate the farmers out of the judgment fund. just last week we learned that irs employees have admittedly targeted conservative groups for additional and unwarranted scrutiny, just because they chose to exercise their first amendment rights. this is outrageous, and congress and the american people expect answers and accountability. finally, just two days ago it was revealed that the justice department obtained telephone records for more than 20 associated press reporters and editors over a two-month period. these requests appear to be very broad and intersect important first amendment protections. any abridgement of the first amendment right to the freedom of the press is very concerning, and members of the committee want to hear an
explanation from you today. i look forward to hearing your answers on all of these important topics today, as well as on other issues of significance to the justice department and the country . >> thank you. officer'seace memorial day. byould like to begin honoring those who gave the ultimate sacrifice in serving our nation. he fallen officers who selflessly defend our streets, and keep our community safe. as flags fly at half staff, our thoughts turn to these brave law-enforcement officers and officials. i think each and every officer whether dedicated public service.
as you can see, there is no current way to document hate crimes against sikhs on the form even though they continue to experience hate crimes that rates disproportionate to their population. according to surveys in york city and the san francisco bay area, approximately 10% of sikhs that have been subject to hate crimes. if someone were to look at fbi dated today, it would be as though sikhs and hindus do not exist. we have asked for revisions to for 1699 and members of congress have signed onto this as well as the civil rights division and
community relations service of the u.s. department of justice in support of revisions to form 1699. can you tell us what the status of this is so that hate crimes against these populations can finally be tracked? >> the department recommended to what is called the advisor policy board last year that the bill be amended to include those categories. the board is supposed to meet again next month where it will consider those potential changes before they make them to the fbi director. it would be my strong recommendation that the form be modified so that captures anti- muslim and middle east violence. >> i would also like to ask about racial profiling. immediately after the boston
bombing, the first person injured following the bombing was a saudi arabian student who was tackled by fellow bystander because, to them, he looked suspicious. he was questioned in the hospital after suffering severe burns from the bombing and had his apartment searched. but it turns out he was a victim of the bombing, not the perpetrator. we have also seen other instances of racial profiling by law enforcement at our nation's airport, at the border, at nypd, and other local and state law enforcement. doj's existing guidelines were outlined in 2003. it does not apply to profiling based on religion or national origin. it has allowed profiling against arab americans, american muslims, american sikhs, and immigrants.
also does not apply to state and local law enforcement. it lacks a meaningful enforcement mechanism. this guidance for racial profiling has not been updated in a decade. i know you are reviewing this guidance, but what is the status of your review, and when will you issue a new guidance to prohibit profiling based on religion and national origin and address my other concerns? >> racial or ethnic profiling is simply not good law enforcement. if you look at al qaeda, what they try to do is find people they identify as having clean skin to try to get past our intelligence and security apparatus. the policy is under review. i had a meeting as recently as the week before last. we are at the end stages of their review process and i would expect we will have with the product of that process is in a relatively short time.
this is something that is actively under review that i have been personally involved in. >> thank you, and i yield back. >> the chair now recognizes the gentleman from arizona, the chairman on the subcommittee of constitution and civil justice, for five minutes. >> general, we art but to have you here today. i am going to shift gears and be a little bit philosophical and reflect on the notion as to why we are really all here today, while we are all here really in this place. as i noticed earlier, the grand ole was symbolic of what we hope to protect in the future. i have a little boy at home, four years old, and i think it is important that we keep a statesman's eye on the future and recognize all the politics that are inevitable with the challenges we face.
we need to keep an eye on why we are all here. this notion of america that all of us are created equal, all are god's children and should be protected. it is a pretty important thing. i notice the nation's chief law- enforcement officer, i know that occurred to you as well. it seems to contrast produce significantly with what we have heard in the last few months about a guy named kermit gosnell, who ran an abortion clinic and aborted late term babies. they survived, he would proceed to cut their spine with scissors. somehow i don't know went, we are going to ask ourselves is that is too remote really are. i suppose the unique thing about it is that is not all that you need. while we might sanitize the clinics and other places, about 18,000 babies a year at 20 weeks
or older are boarded in this country. about 44,000 abortions survivors are living in the country today. this is not as unique as it might be, though we might sanitize the clinics in the future, i don't know how we can sanitize the horror and inhumanity that is forced on these little babies. a first question would be along the lines of where is our president on this subject, but unfortunately, already know that answer. he voted against the born alive equal protection act when he was in his home state several times. so i already know where he is. the question today is, as a law enforcement officer, we have passed the born alive infant protection act on the federal level. says every person, human being, child, and individual, shall include every infant member of the homo sapiens species that is
born alive in any state of development. -- i will just remind you that there was a lady named ashley baldwin that work with the -- and she described one of these babies who was breathing. she described him around two feet long. because of the process didn't have eyes, and has no eyes or mouth. it making a screeching noise. she says it sounded like an alien. sometimes i just wonder if we really could back up as a society and ask ourselves what we can do to change our minds on some of these tragedies. my question to you, it is a sincere question, i hope you take it so, in 2002, congress enacted the born alive protection act. it provides that all federal protections from your office ort born alive.
will you enforce the infant act as attorney general question will you consider carefully what is happening in clinics across the country like what happened at the clinic he ran? >> i share the concerns that you talked about. i am a father. i have three kids. interestingly, i am a -- i'm married to an gynecologist. i have a responsibility to enforce all the laws. lex have you ever enforce this law? >> i do not know. we go back to this? >> we can get back to that. hammy prosecutions there've been under that law. >> there has been 18,000 opportunities.
i am wondering if you have enforce it once. >> i do not know whether there was enforcement during the bush administration or the obama administration since the passage of the law. i do not know the statistics. >> i guess i hear the mantra so often that this is choice breeds to stand by in silence while the most helpless of all children are dismembered day after day, year after year, it is a heartless disgrace that can be described by vocabulary of man. i hope he considers that carefully. >> the chair thanks the gentleman for his line of questioning. and it recognizes the german from florida. >> in today's hearing, some of my colleagues have brought you
in allegedly improper targeting of certain groups based on the political persuasions. revelation is disturbing because any bias by the irs is outrageous. it is absolutely imperative that those responsible are held actable. however, my hope is that this inquiry into potential criminal activity would generate another policy debate that this scandal beckons us to have here in congress. a debate that we need to have, whether there are too many groups across the political spectrum that improperly seek taxes -- tax-exempt status claiming they are social where for groups. the number of groups applying for this tax-exempt status has more than doubled since 2010. over 139,000 139,000, up from
2000 the before. that is because the so-called social life organizations do not have to disclose their donors. a still maintain their status, even if they write huge checks to super packs. in 2012, when it record $1.2 billion was spent to influence the election, and a quarter of that money cannot be traced to any source, the evidence shows that many of the -- are being established to funnel money to super packs. the irs should not automatically accept all applications for tax- exempt status from groups established for the expose the political purposes. as part of the investigation, part of the discussion, we need to know whether the tax-exempt status of any c4, whenever the politics, was denied a vote not because of politics, but because
of brick -- ripping off tax payers. the american people should be outraged that employees would scrutinize specific groups based on political foliation's. i am sure that my constituents are outraged that they are subsidizing tax rates for the makers of the militia super pack adds that poison our airwaves. the american people were disgusted by these ads, but to think that these ads may have been subsidized by the american taxpayers, that i would suggest is a scandal. 50 years ago, after the decision in gideon, our nation's indigent defense system is in crisis.
the current code in which the doj has remedies for a pattern or practices of conduct that violates the constitutional or federal regulation of children in the juvenile justice system can provide important tools to encourage reforms that protect the right to cancel for indigent adults as well. you are aware that in december of last year, a landmark settlement was reached that will lead to major reforms in the juvenile justice court system. agreement was reached with the county and will implement many of the principles of a public defense system to assure that a system is in place that will protect the council of children in the juvenile justice system. on april 26, the department --
the juvenile court of memphis responded to the report by beginning to voluntarily into reports of their system and indicating they would correctly violations in the reports, and i want to commend you and your staff for all of the hard work in this case, to a sure constitutional rights for juveniles is protected. in this summit agreement, it was possible by exercising authority under the u.s. code. the department is conducting similar investigations and has found numerous violations in the juvenile system elsewhere. i would like to ask you, since i have introduced the right to cancel and taxpayer protection act, whether you think the effectiveness of the section for
juveniles would also be helpful to provide the kind of action that was taken there to help adults. >> i think that your focus on this issue is right. your time is limited, but focusing on this question of indigent representation, juveniles and adults, especially 50 years after ddn, is what we should be about. it is something i try to focus on. the legislation we are talking about it on the i would like to work with you on. the need is there. with regard to the first part of your question, the whole question of these c4's, i hope we are going to be aggressive, and we will let the facts take us where they may, with regard to the potential problems that existed at the irs.
i think that should not detract us as a nation from asking that broader question that you raise, and made irrespective of your ideological bent. conservative, republican, and immigrant, the use of the tax code in the way that it is used is something that we've need to ask ourselves about, and i hope we are going to do in our criminal investigation will have a chilling effect on asking that question about 501(c) fours. >> the chair recognizes the gentleman from texas, mr. gomer for five minutes. >> thank you. we have talked about this before. i want to bring it up again. the foundation trial that occurred in dallas, convictions in 2008, there were boxes of documents that were provided to
the people that were convicted of being supportive of terrorism. i would like to ask again, for congress to be allowed to have copies of the same things the people supporting terrorism got before they were convicted. will you provide those documents without us having to go through a formal subpoena process? >> yes. i have this note here. i asked the question. we did in fact -- those offers were made public in the case grade we never heard from your staff to make those arrangements. we will make them available to you. i would have your staff contact my. >> will work that out. you mentioned that the fbi did a good job in following up the lead from the russians about -- do you know what questions the
fbi agents asked to determine that he wasn't a threat? >> i do not know the specific questions. >> do you know if they asked who is -- who his favorite islamic thoser was question mark are >> i know -- >> were they allowed to ask? with a lead to ask about the mosque he was attending at cambridge? were they allowed to ask those questions? >> i knew a good deal about was asked of him in connection with the interaction that occurred, but that is potentially part of the ongoing case. that is why i'm hesitant. likes it is also in trying to determine how the fbi blew the opportunity to save people's lives by accepting the russian information, and following up on
it. what we have dealt with, i shouldn't have been classified, the information being purged from fbi documents has been classified. i have reviewed the information. i am aware of what has been purged in the efforts to avoid offending anyone who is islamic. i am not concerned about offending anybody that wants to blow us up. but i am concerned about religious freedom, which is another topic. were you aware of the cambridge mosque where he was attending back at the time that the russian's gave us the? >> not that time. >> he was attending a mosque in cambridge.
obviously if you are not sure about that, you would probably not have anybody provide you the organization papers for the islamic society of boston that was also the founder of the mosque in cambridge. a guy that i am sure you know is doing 23 years for being involved in terrorism, also work with the clinton administration back before he was arrested and convicted and sent to prison for 23 years. he started that mosque. what kind of follow-up was done on the mosque at cambridge? and the mosque at boston, were you had a convicted terrorist that was involved in the organizing? do you know what they did about it? >> at this point, what the fbi did in connection with the information they received was thorough. the questions of the inspector general. >> thorough is an opinion. you know specifically specifically about the mosque at cambridge who founded it, they terrorist founded it, the one that he attended. it sounds like from your answer
that you fill satisfied it was thorough, but you do not really know what they looked at. let me move on. what my answer is that the fbi was thorough. there was problems that were not of the fbi is making with regard >> the fbi got a heads-up from russia that you have a radicalized terrorists on your hands. they should not have had to give anything else whatsoever. that should've been enough. because of political correctness, there was not a thorough enough examination of him to determine if this kid have been radicalized. with that -- that is the concern i have. go after christian groups like billy graham's group, we go after franklin graham said group. but they were hands-off when it comes to offending someone who has been radicalized as a terrorist. i appreciate the comment.
there we will concerned about possible profiling. i will submit attorney general that there were a lot more people in america concerned about being blown up by terrorists. i regret my time has expired. >> let me say this. you made statements of matters of fact. >> you point out one thing that i -- >> the time has expired. >> i would ask he said i said something as fact that he doesn't believe was. i would like to know specifically what it was that -- >> the gentleman from texas should suspend because the attorney general has the opportunity to answer the question once he has completed the question, the region one has a point of personal progress, he can exercise it. like the oxidation i was would make affect -- >> used is a matter fact with
the fbi did did or not do. i'm let's summon has done something inappropriate, you do not have access to the fbi files. you do not know what the fbi did. you do not know what the fbi a direction was with the russians. you not know what questions were put to the russians, whether that.questions were to. you have characterized the fbi as being not thorough, or taking exception to my characterization of being thorough. i know with the fbi did. you cannot know what i know. >> thank you, mr. chairman. that is simply the reason. i do not assert what they did or not do. i asserted -- i cannot have someone challenge my character. >> the gentleman is -- if the gentleman leaves that he has a point of personal privilege, he can state it. >> i'm a current -- either point of personal privilege.
i do not know -- the attorney general is wrong on the things that i asserted as fact. he has to understand the reason i asked questions specifically about what the individual was asked, so i could find out and the attorney general in -- sits there. >> we will sustain general order. [indiscernible] the gentleman from texas will suspend. the characterization of the answer is not appropriate exercise of the gentleman's right of personal privilege. the jenna mun will his statement and move on. >> the attorney general made statements that what i said was not true. >> mr. chairman, regular order.
>> when you attack somebody integrity, and say they made statements that were not true, then of course, that raises a point of personal privilege. the attorney general failed to answer my questions. [indiscernible] >> the gentleman is entitled to state a personal privilege. we will move on. he does not have a and opportunity to characterize the answer of the witness.orhe congressman could not know, unless something inappropriate is happening with regard to -- >> unless the attorney general answers my questions. >> he could not know the answers, there cannot be a basis
for the a certain -- the assertions that he made unless he was provided information inappropriately from members of the fbi or people who were involved in the things that he questioned me about. i'm not saying that happen. >> he gentleman from texas and the attorney general have had their opportunity to clarify positions, and we will turn to the gentleman from california. >> on the begin by thanking the attorney general for your patience. it seems to me every couple of months we go through this exercise with you. i appreciate your patience. i have questions. one, i want to join others in expressing concern and condemning what i understand is the targeting of incentive groups by the irs. frankly it brought back memories from several years ago when i are amber liberals being targeted. i remember when african-american churches were targeted by the irs.
it sent a chill through the community. i wanted to know if during that time, if an investigation was done, and what was the result? >> i'm unaware of any eerie i do not know what happened with regard to those matters. >> i think it would be interesting to find out. the way i hear it characterize, it would -- it was as if this was the first time the irs has done something like this. iran him or this happening to liberal groups. my second question is, if congress can passes the flee fro of class -- flee -- free flow of information act. >> i am not familiar. with regard to our shield law, there are greater protections that would have been in place
for members of the press. some have noted that there was the national security exception. i think that in the view of the administration, the shield law should be something that we work on together. we can craft a national security exception that would give the press adequate protection, while the same time keeping safe the american people. lex would happen to the steel law? -- >> what happened to the shield law? >> it was never passed. i don't think he was seriously considered. but it was pushed. i talked about it in my confirmation hearings. the president was behind it. it was never passed. >> had an impasse, it would alleviate the situation that we just experienced? >> again, i'm recused my case. i think he would have had the potential to have an impact on all national security stories.
>> switching subjects completely, talking about trafficking, the area that i am interested in working on. -- child buffer is -- child welfare. i wanted to know if anything is being done at the federal level to ensure that youth designated as victims and juveniles in court are treated as victims as opposed to criminals. i wanted to know if given existing federal law included in the trafficking protection act, how can we look -- work with local jurisdiction to make sure that youth are not having records. >> we need to come up with mechanisms by which we identify best practices.
because the reality is that too many young people who are victimized in the way that you have described can be characterized as criminals, as prostitutes, when they are simply victims. you would hope that prosecutors would exercise appropriate discretion in charge. that is not always the case. as why the added evocation of actresses and raising since but did he -- sensitivity is so important. the federal government should take the lead in that, given that human trafficking generally is something that we have identified as a priority. the sex trafficking of minors is a priority. >> maybe we can work together in the future. no juvenile should ever be arrested for prostitution. i do not know you can prostitute if you are under the age of consent.
that would be rape. many there is a libby can change it so that a child is never charged with that. >> i think i would look forward to that. there are going to be services that need to be made available to such a juvenile. that does not mean that juvenile should have to get -- be made part of the juvenile justice system with all the stata -- statement that is attached that to. >> absolutely. what is the office of juvenile justice dealing with the prevention doing to prevent foster youths from entering the justice system? i'm referring to what is known as crossover youth. crossover youth, meaning rossing from the dependency to delinquency system. what is the office of juvenile
what is the office of juvenile justice and delinquency prevention doing to prevent this? >> we are identifying best practices. we make grants. we talk about cutting back money. one of the things that it does so well is through conferences. it brings together people to talk about these kinds of issues. and you, with determinations as to what practices we are going to find. that is what it is doing in that regard. we always try to find best practices, again defying negative practices that are occurring, and then trying to support those things that are in the best interest of our children. >> the gentleman's time has expired. the chair recognizes the gentleman from ohio. >> you announced last friday a criminal investigation into the irs. allie have one question.
will you a sure congress that your investigation will not indeed or slow the investigation congress is doing into the internal revenue service service? we have heard you say today that we've lost track. how many times you said ongoing investigation. i would argue that investigation had no new at information to congress, and has only slowed down our investigation. next week, witnesses will be in front of the oversight committee next wednesday on the irs issue. i know for a fact she lied to me. she lied our personal staff. she lied to committee staff.
she lied and correspondence that we had sent a written correspondence. here is what concerns me. next week, when she comes in front of our committee for us to get information about what took place at the irs, issue one to drop her hands and say the attorney general's department is doing an investigation. i cannot comment. that is a concern that members of congress have. again, will you do everything you can, and what insurance is can you give you nice is congress that that is one to take place? >> i think the responsibility i have is to investigate violations of the law. what we will try to do is to work with congress so that we do not get in your way. you do not get in our way. >> the point is it has already happened. this is the big one. this is the first minute writing violent.
it was a know what you are going to do different time. you do not have all the credibility. there are folks on this panel, love call for resignation. -- love call three resignation. -- who have called for the resignation. >> your characterization by itself -- >> we want her to be able to respond. >> your characterization of her testimony in of itself, and the way you characterized it, could could put her in a very situation that you say you do not want to have happen. >> that is already out here. there is no news there. i wonder on the witness stand to be able to to answer our questions.
why don't want her to do is say i can. -- i can't. >> she could, on the basis of what you say, say i cannot answer this question because you think i've already lie. >> there is a much stronger likelihood based on what you are doing that what i just said here. >> our possibility is to investigate violations of the criminal law. we will do that. we will work with congress in a way that we do not indeed that which you want to do. there are certainly some role for for congress to play in exposing what has happened. i think we have the ultimate responsibility and holding people accountable, that is uniquely the ability of the executive branch to do. not the legislative branch. >> i yield back.
>> the chair recognizes the gentleman from louisiana. >> thank you. answer these quick weight and stormy. -- answer these quick questions for me. is there any lawful way that anyone in congress could now what was asked and not asked by the fbi in the investigation before the boston bombing of those terrorists? >> there is no way that anybody could know that. >> earlier, a senior was made that -- a statement was made that the government were so worried about offending islamists, but they are not worried about offending any person that would bomb american america.
>> it is a small minority of people who engage in these activities read -- activities. we are not politically correct in which we conduct our investigations. the cleft individuals. we do not go after it religion. >> the july 12 letter, i was not on the committee. but the points that struck me the most about the investigation into the leaks, which you have recused yourself, which some operations must be kept strictly secret, concern about these leaks knows no party line spray when national security secrets leak, become public knowledge, our people and interests are jeopardize. american lives are threatened. it goes on to say probably the most damaging leaks in america history.
was that a call for the department of justice to do any and all things to ascertain where these leaks are coming from? >> i was criticized at that time for not appointing a special prosecutor. i said i had faith in the justice department and in the u.s. attorney like conducted. that that was this -- criticized as not being aggressive enough. it starts me as interesting now that we are being criticized for being too aggressive. i do not know what happened with regard to the subpoena. there was certainly a call from many that the attorney general to do more than he actually did. >> there was a criticism that your subpoena was too broad.
earlier today, you are challenge and criticize or the fact that you said you would answer to the appropriate things in a subpoena. do you answer to things that are relevant to the subpoena? would that be the same irony that you cannot have it both ways? >> it was interesting. you can subpoena anything. people have the right once they receive a subpoena to challenge that which they're called to produce pursuant to the subpoena. >> let me take a second to thank the civil rights division of your office, because earlier this year, our chief ranking african-american on the louisiana supreme court, who had
the tenure and seniority a process to get to chief judge, was challenged by other judges, and brought to court to challenge whether she could become chief justice. it was with the help of the civil rights division and other lawyers in louisiana that the federal judge ruled that she in fact did have the tenure. as long as we still have examples of that, and we have a justice department is willing to step up, even though it may not be popular, part of faith in the justice system is that plausibly apply equally to everybody. i like to close with, as ugly and nasty as fast and furious was, which i agree with, every day in my community, federal agents and others will use drug dealers as pawns to get the bigger drug deals. it is that crack or heroin,
going back and creating more crack babies and putting more kids in harms way, i have not heard the same appropriated while we're having an upper about people putting things back into communities to get the bigger fish, please don't forget the thousands of lives and murders every year associate with the drug trade. thank you. >> the chair recognizes the gentleman from texas. -- the gentleman from texas. >> yesterday i sent you to three pages of letters with questions on it. i know you haven't had time to go over those. i ask you now to introduce that letter with the questions for the attorney general into the record to be answered at some of part -- appropriate time. >> the questions will be submitted to the attorney general.
>> let me approach this historically. i have two questions. over the last several years, government action has become suspect to many of us. in fast and furious, government action. we have not resolved that yet. we stop and got a resolution on the issue that whether the subpoena should be upheld. people died in fast and furious. then there is benghazi. there is some bungling going on, and who was responsible for america's die. -- for the americas who died. their accusations of improper use of people in office of their position to obtain funds to
support the new healthcare law. government action. the ap reporters, there phone records being sees, a bruise the first amendment to me. i felt that bill as well pray president obama supported in 2007. i hope we can get it past this time. the most recent is with the irs, and west taken place with the irs but with other government agencies. the constituent of mine runs a business in houston. she decided to get in god -- involved in voter fraud.
here's what she said in a recent interview. we applied for a nonprofit status in 2010 three the irs has run us through a gauntlet of analysts, and hundreds of questions over and over again. they requested to see each and every tweet i've ever tweeted, or every facebook post i've ever posted. they have asked to know every place i have ever spoken, and to whom and everywhere i intend to speak in the future. that is part of her comments. the irs has asked this group for their donor list. the federal government snooping of their positions, including
six visits from the fbi, unannounced visits by osha, and the atf showed up several times to investigate this organization. and, the ingle breaks have been personally audited. keep in mind, they have never seen an auditor until all this occurred. >> here we are today. i've requested over the years -- why they continuing to be treated like criminals? direct response -- the irs response, they have apologized. they want us to go away by their apology. meanwhile, back on the ranch, today usa today reported that only one tea party group has been given tax-exempt status.
numerous groups of men given tax-exempt status in the lax -- last two or three years. not coincidence as far as i'm concerned. based on my experience, being at the courthouse, it just seems like government credibility, because these are government actions, not private actions,, don't you think it would be best that since now the fbi, atf, which is under the justice department, are involved in some of these accusations of harassment, on equal protection under the law, targeting specific groups because of discrimination, those are the dertment aside and say we are going to get special prosecutors here to investigate these organizations to see if they are targeting specific conservative groups for their actions, and to
see if there is a violation of law violations. i'm just asking you, do you think that would help restore credibility to clear this error and find out what is going on in the government. the >> i would agree with your characterization of lack of credibility needed to the justice department or its components. >> i'm giving you my opinion that it lacks credibility and these departments because of the actions by the federal authority. as my opinion. >> that is fine. the bill clinton -- though clinton won said the air of the government is over. you need for good government indoors. >> and just answer my question. out of time. do you think need a special prosecutor to prosecute these accusations? >> i think you need for good government and yours.
people talk about how government and government agencies do these negative things. when it comes to sandy and wildfires and tornadoes and terrorism, then people want government there. that is my point. the notion that government has, or the just -- or the justice department has credibility problem. and the need for good government. >> the gentleman will submit the question in writing. we will submit to the attorney general. the chair recognizes the gentleman from washington. >> thank you. thank you mr. attorney general for being here a man for your time. -- and for your time.
the fbi believed it could obtain the contents of america's e- mails without a war if the e- mail percent -- e-mails were sent by third-party. you believe the government has a right to obtain a muscle that he wore it -- worn. -- warrant. >> the authority that we have is defined. we have testified on behalf of thnt. how we update the abilities that we have so that we are -- the ability to conduct investigations in as quick a fashion as we can, given the technology that we face.
how would we apply rules that exist? with regard to obtaining information without court orders, i think that question that we wrestle with. >> today, this piece of paper, if i had a letter here, would require a warrant for somebody to have access. if it were digital, it may not require that. we are looking on if there should be a equal langfield, or if we need to update our law. that was written in 1986. before the technology that many folks use today was in place, do you believe it is important update that law to the way people work today and where
communications were today so that we have those civil liberties protected in the digital world? >> absolutely. we have become more and more information society. we still have, and should excavations of privacy. at the same time, i want to make sure that law-enforcement any way that it has the ability to acquire information, and how we strike that balance is important. it is one of the most important conversations that we can have in the 21st century. one that i think that this and ministration would like engage with congress on. that will meet somewhere in the middle. so we can maintain privacy while they are the same time maintaining the ability that law-enforcement has to have. >> there is legislation i cosponsored to update the
electronic communication privacy act, and have a warrant for online communications, and for location permission of people have on their cell phone. we would love to have support from the department of justice and yourself on those reforms as we looked to update those -- as the look to update those communications act and have something more current. >> i know a bill has been introduced similar to that. it is something that i think the department will support. our only concern is with regard to making sure that in limited circumstances, we have the ability to acquire information. the general motion to have a warrant to have information from a service provider is something we support.
>> the warrant stander will be the same. in the current standard for communications, there are exceptions in emergencies and other cases. we are looking to have a similar understanding in the online world. >> that is what i was talking about with the limited circumstances where we want to make sure that we are maintaining the abilities. >> thank you. i yield back the remainder of my time. >> the chair appreciate the brevity and recognizes the gentleman from utah. >> thank you. i appreciate you being here. i want to go back and talk about the investigation of general petraeus, which the fbi started in the may-june time frame. when did you learn about the investigation of the general? >> i'm not sure. some months after it began.
>> the news report say that happened sometime in the summer. would that be a fair representation question or >> i think that is probably right. >> you know when general petraeus was notified that any sense that he was under investigation? >> i would have to go back and look. i do not know when he was actually made aware of it by -- as a result of an fbi interview i think. >> d of any idea of when he would have then aware of it? do you have a sense as to when he became aware of it? >> we'll will be looking into it and get back to you. i don't know. >> one of the criticisms here is that you knew about this in the summer, and yet when did you notify the director of the national intelligence?
>> i don't remember when that happened. i knew about it for a while before he was notified. >> when was the president of united states notified? >> it was much later. i'm not exactly certain. late fall, early winter. >> i appreciate that. i'm asking you days. the concern here is that you, for months, based on that timeline, you know about it. you did notify the president of the united states. why is that? >> it was an ongoing criminal investigation. >> you do not think there was
any intelligence lap question mark was there any national intelligence ramifications? >> on the basis on what we are were investigation. if we were looking at potentially compromising of general petraeus or would have led to a national security breach. >> according to the congressional research service, let me read it from the report in april. while the affair is not an intelligence activity, the investigation originate with the possible hacking of his e-mail account, an act that had the potential, rising intelligence. he was not the head of the fish and wildlife are this is the rector of central intelligence. why would you not shared with the president of the united states? >> as we talked about it, among >> as we talked about it, among us of the fbi, we do not think that we had a national security
problem. >> why were you investigating? why was the fbi investigating? it is not just an extramarital affair? that doesn't raise to the level of the fbi-involvement. suspicion that there was a national intelligence implications. >> the investigation began because of complaints that one party made against another about the use of computers and threats. that is how the investigation -- director of the national central agents -- cia, this is national security. is what senator feinstein said. i think we should have been told. why not notify under the law the proper authorities here in the united states congress, specifically the head of the intelligence community, and why not notify the president of united states? -- >> again, there is a strong tradition and concern within the justice department not to reveal ongoing criminal investigations.
theere sensitive to possibility of a national security concern. we do not think that one existed. present the nine states? -- the presidents of the united states? i would think that is the one person who should absolutely know what is going on. there was a potential that the director of the cia had been compromise, that you are investigating, why not share that with president obama? shareause, we do not ongoing criminal investigation. if you look back, and conclusions we reached were correct. we do not have a national security -- it is an ongoing investigation. it's an ongoing investigation. >> but the time is expired. -- >> the time has expired. we recognize the gentleman from florida. >> thank you for being here. thank you for your time today. thank you for your long and
distinguished career. my first question, i know you answer some of this, made a less hostile environment will give you a chance to dazzle with your intelligence. ae majority here know mr. -- few weeks ago, we ascended ourselves and began a confirmation hearing for mr. perez. a duty and responsibility that was beyond the purview of my office. nonetheless,we participated. i would like to hear from you as someone who was worked with mr. perez in his capacity in your office, you could tell us about him and your view on him as labor secretary.